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Building a business case for innovation and investment in India’s accessibility sector

Frequently asked questions

Who can apply for the program?

SICA is a search for startups, social enterprises, or non-profits who have created innovative revenue-led products, equipment, or systems that enhance the learning, working and daily living for persons with disabilities.
Individual innovators are not eligible to apply for the challenge. The challenge is looking for innovators who want to establish marketing channels for existing products, improve product design, and create a sustainable supply chain. Startups with developed prototypes who have completed user testing should apply. The applicant company has to be owned by resident Indian citizen i.e., at least 51% of capital in the company is owned beneficially by a resident Indian citizen.
 

I am a college student working on a technology. Can I apply for the program?

Yes, as long as you have a working product that is serving the needs of persons with disabilities, and have an established entity, you are welcome to apply. However, since the top startups will get grant money, an applicant showing strong intent, a well-defined roadmap, and infrastructure to support it has a higher chance of qualifying for the grant. It is recommended that this is taken into consideration at the time of application.
 

Can I submit more than one application for different technologies?

Yes, applicants can submit multiple applications, but each application has to feature a distinct technology, process, or innovation. However, in the final decision, only one application (if selected) will be considered per startup.
 

Is there any preference for a particular type of innovation?

Applicants are encouraged to submit applications for innovations that solve a real-world challenge faced by persons with disabilities. Innovations can be product or systems based but must be directed towards benefitting the accessibility sector.
 

Can I submit my application post-deadline?

No, applications submitted past the deadline (19 October 2021) will not be considered for evaluation. There is no possibility for lateral entry into the program.
 

What are the evaluation criteria?

The applicant would be evaluated across multiple parameters, including social impact, product stage, technological innovation, unique value proposition, sustainability, scalability, roadmap clarity, and team quality.
 

Final decisions on top startups

a) The top 5 startups will be selected at the sole discretion of an independent jury and subject matter experts from Prosus, Invest India, Startup India, Social Alpha, and WHO.

b) Throughout the program, all decisions made by the judges will be deemed as final.

Startups will be evaluated across multiple stages and applicants will be informed of their progress after each phase.
 

Disqualification and organiser's right to amend competition rules

a) The organisers of the challenge reserve the right to disqualify any participant who is found to have violated the program’s spirit, guidelines, and/or its terms.  Disqualified participants will have to forfeit any grants received by them.  The organisers can amend these rules at any point before the program’s closing date.  

b) The organisers can revise the indicated program dates at any time. Any changes will be notified on the program page and other relevant platforms.
 

Submissions and participation

Incomplete submissions will be disqualified from evaluation.
 

The participating entity should demonstrate a positive, sustainable, and scalable impact for persons with disabilities in India (though not exclusive to the region). Submissions should be the original work of the participating entity.
 

Top 10 participants (finalists) may be required to send at least one core member for the final round of evaluations to New Delhi, India.
 

Finalists must agree to allow the use of details of their enterprise, including their names, photographs, and country of residence. In addition, finalists are required to cooperate with any other reasonable requests by the organiser related to any publicity activities.
 

Finalists are required to submit a declaration of good standing and solvency at the final evaluation stage. If there is any change in circumstance that invalidates a team’s good standing and solvency, the team must immediately inform the organisers.
 

All participants own the rights to their ideas. Participants must adequately acknowledge any trademarked, patented or copyrighted materials of others that are incorporated into their submission materials. Participants are responsible for obtaining any necessary permissions before utilising such materials in their submissions. All content used by the participants must not be unlawful or defamatory in any form or manner, and must comply with applicable laws at all times.
 

Submitted ideas are protected in the spirit of non-disclosure and all submitted materials will be treated as confidential. The only people with access to the entry materials will be judges and select members of the organising committee. Materials will not be distributed to any other party unless requested by the participant. No other provisions are made to protect intellectual property.
 

Participants are advised not to disclose critical information which would affect a successful filing of any patents. All final day presentations are open to public and may be videotaped. Media persons may attend the final stages of the program. Attendance by media personnel is expected in the final stages of the programme.
 

Any data or information discussed or divulged in public sessions by participants should be considered as information that will enter the public realm. Participants should not assume any right of confidentiality in any data or information discussed, divulged or presented in these sessions.